In the previous installment of this blog (here) we looked at the root cause of sickness, which is sin, and suggested that as followers of Jesus that there are a number of things that factor into infirmity and disease, which, when dealt with, enable divine healing power to work and bring healing.
There are many other factors that come into play, both in regards to contributing factors for physical and mental illness, and in factors that contribute to fixing every type of life problem. Demons play a significant role in contracting infirmity and disease and the prevention of healing. Throughout the New Testament, and even on occasion in the Old Testament, there are examples of demon spirits that make people sick. Jesus cast one demon out of a boy that gave him something akin to epileptic seizures and suicidal tendencies, throwing himself into fires to immolate himself and water to drown him. Once Jesus cast out the demon, the boy was set free from what we would consider nowadays to be mental health problems. Mind you, I’m not saying all mental health problems are specifically caused by a demon, but I will say I think all sickness and disease have demons as a contributing factor, whether physical or mental illness. Deliverance, or exorcism, also known as the casting out of demons, is a must even for believers. Many believe, erroneously, that Christians cannot have demons, citing such verses as James 3:9-12 as proof-text, although grossly out of context and not speaking about demons, but rather one’s language choices. The idea that a Christian cannot have a demon could not be further from the truth, and this unsound doctrine has sentenced many to a life of bondage to evil spirits they did not believe existed simply because they were taught that a believer can’t have a demon.
The next argument that usually comes up when discussing deliverance and whether a Christian can have a demon, is on the matter of whether a Christian can be possessed or not. In my book The Gamer’s Guide to the Kingdom of God I explain it this way:
“I have been involved in more discussions than I care to count about whether someone who is a believer can be possessed by demons or not, and it’s a discussion I basically refuse to entertain any longer as it is usually indicative of an armchair-believer, interested in mentally understanding the concept from the comfort and safety of his couch, not actually ever casting demons out of anyone and not trying to learn for practical use. I will say this: Yes, Christians can have demons. I don’t care if you call it possessed, depressed, or oppressed, and I don’t care if you think they are in you, on you, over you, under you, or around you. They’re devils. Get rid of them. Don’t worry so much about the deep theology behind their location. If you find devils, make them leave, and leave discussion on pinpointing their exact position to someone else who has a goal of total ineffectiveness in deliverance ministry. While there is a measure to which understanding what we are dealing with is wise, I have yet to find a single time when knowing whether the demon was in someone, over them, under them, or next to them made a load of difference in whether I was able to cast them out or not. Regardless of where they are located, when we finish praying they should be long gone. Period.”
Leave the discussion of demon-locations to others–spend your time learning to effectively destroy demon strongholds, remove legal authority, and cast them out.
How do demons have legal authority? Think back to the garden in Eden when Adam sinned. His sin breached a spiritual legal contract that forfeit the rulership of this world to Satan. Satan and his demons therefore had a legal right to oppress people in accordance with their sins, stealing away their power and life energy as a replacement for what they lost when their connection with God, the Source of all power, was broken as they were cast out of heaven. While some may argue the devil’s legal right to rule the earth, it should be clear that in John 16:11, even Jesus referred to Satan as “the prince of this world,” which is a title denoting a position of authority. Mind you, Jesus also noted that because of what he was doing that the prince was condemned, abdicating that authority, but the point remains that Satan did obtain actual authority in this earth realm. When Jesus came and died, the Bible says that he destroyed the power of death (Hebrews 2:14), and took back the keys to death and the grave (Revelation 1:18). In order to remove this legal authority, we have to legally apply what Jesus purchased for us, writing over the old legal document in his blood and writing a new one–a new and living way through his broken body and shed blood. Much like the legislative branch of government writes laws and the executive branch is responsible for carrying them out, we are the executive branch of God’s Kingdom, and along with the angels we execute His will in the earth. If we or anyone we know are being plagued by demons, it is our responsibility to remove the legal rights of the enemy and cast them out.
Deliverance comes down to, again, diagnosing the problem. Demons oppress people because something about that person’s life allows them access. When we destroy their access, we can usually cast them out without difficulty. Access is won through agreement. Typically, we have a belief or action that agrees with an attribute or function of a demon. As a result of those erroneous beliefs and/or our unhealthy actions, we create areas for demons to have free reign–often referred to as strongholds. In order to destroy the stronghold we have to find the source of access and remove it. For some this can be a deep emotional wound, a belief system, or choices we make. We also have soul fragments, what are most commonly understood as multiple personalities, which play a part as well. I will address this topic later.
Our words and thoughts are powerful, and when we make negative statements, often about ourselves, we can create demonic access through our spoken words. After all, Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Even self-deprecating humor, while it can be funny, gives us the opportunity to literally curse ourselves. We can curse not only ourselves but others when we speak negatively about them. That is one of the reasons why gossip is so unhealthy, because it is uncommon that people gossip positively. Usually the words that are spoken about the person being discussed are negative in nature, and they release power that literally empowers demons and create points of access for those demons to set up strongholds in the lives of others. Small matters may be turned aside through angelic protection over that person, but even angels get worn down in battle, and with enough negative energy and access points opened, even the weakest spirits can slip through.
Negative emotions create access points as well. Oftentimes these are as a result of unhealed inner hurts, but regardless of the cause, negative emotions send out a dark spiritual signal into the spirit realm that attracts demons, much as angels are attracted to the positive emotions such as love, peace, joy, etc. There is a reason that Phillipians 4:8-9 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” When we think and focus on positive emotions, we invite God’s peace into our lives and welcome angelic assistance with open arms. While it’s not specifically stated in the above verses, the corollary of that is that when we think on things that are base, lowly, unholy, and impure, we invite chaos and demonic assistance into our lives–something that none of us need or want.
Emotional wounds can be light and easy to address, or they can be old, deep, and well-guarded. In some cases, rape being an easy example, there can be deep-seated resentment, anger, bitterness, distrust, and other emotions that get locked away deep inside a person’s soul. These emotional issues attract demons, but that’s not all. These negative emotions are actually stored within various organs in the body and affect the invisible energetic systems within the body, all of which have a trickle-down effect ultimately resulting in a sick and diseased body. There are entire ministries that focus on teaching forgiveness and releasing negative emotions, and some of the time people will get physically healed without anyone praying for a specific condition because the root cause of the infirmity was actually an emotional issue.
In the next installment of this series we will look at soul fragments–what they are, how to identify when fragments are at work, how they influence us, and how they contribute to sickness and disease.
Divine Healing that Works- The Complete Series